AllianzGI-Oxford Pensions Conference 2017: Invited Conference, 11-12 September 2017, University of Oxford

Coping with Disruptive Change

Invited Conference, 11-12 September 2017, Worcester College, University of Oxford

Disruptive forces are gathering strength. In technological terms, the fourth industrial revolution aspires to provide us with a set of radically new technologies redefining customer expectations and reshaping industry boundaries. Traditional financial institutions feel the attack from fintech pioneers. The political environment has become less stable and predictable as well. Brexit and the election of US President Trump are disrupting traditional political thinking.

How will technological and political disruptions impact the global economic and investment outlook for pension funds? With improved growth and inflation outlook, central banks have started - or are expected to start - to scale back their supportive stance. Are we facing the turning point in the secular interest-rate cycle? At the tenth anniversary of the AllianzGI-Oxford Pensions Conference we will critically examine investment strategies in times of disruptive change and uncertainty.

Pension provision has undergone significant changes. Disillusioned by the shortcomings of voluntary, market-driven pension saving plans, governments are increasingly taking a more intervening turn. The implementation of instruments like auto-enrolment, the universal adoption of Defined Contribution plans, and the advent of new digital platforms are fundamentally changing the traditional world of pension provision. We will critically discuss the implications of these changes.

We will then present best-practice examples of how companies manage the transition from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution in the current environment. Communication to plan members becomes ever more important in order to maintain trust. We will present new findings from behavioural finance theory and critically discuss the intrusion of technological disruptions. Is robo-advice the panacea to bridge the advice gap faced especially by the less well-off, mostly financially illiterate consumers, or does it not even stand the test of fiduciary duty?


The AllianzGI-Oxford Pensions Conference is co-sponsored by Allianz Global Investors and the University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, a member of the School of Geography and the Environment. The conference will be led by Professor Gordon L. Clark, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.


We invite pension funds and their consultants, regulators, and academics. Participation is by personal invitation only. The conference will bring about 90 guests to Oxford.

Registration for the conference is now open. Please complete the online registration form to register for the conference.


The AllianzGI-Oxford Pensions Conference has built a reputation for active and often controversial discussions following formal presentations. The ground rules for success are simple: confidentiality, open discussion without attribution, a willingness to discuss based upon experience, and a commitment to articulating the lessons learnt thereof. Participants are expected to contribute their knowledge and experience through comments and interventions. The conference is not open to the public and will be conducted on a confidential basis.

Conference Information and Location

The conference starts at 12:00 on Monday 11 September 2017 and ends around 14:30 on Tuesday 12 September 2017. The conference will be held at Worcester College, Walton Street, Oxford, OX1 2HB.

Maps of Oxford with the location of the colleges are available on the Oxford University website.

Transport and Accommodation

We have secured a limited contingent of rooms at Oxford hotels and Worcester College. We will provide booking details and travel information on registration.

Further Information

For further information please contact the conference director: Dr Dorothee Franzen (), Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom.